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Mission

The Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. 

About SAI | View the South Asia Institute video

Upcoming Events


Tue, February 9, 2016 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS Knafel, K262

The Cross-Dressing God

Arts at SAI Seminar

Devdutt Pattanaik, Author, Mythologist, Artist (@devduttmyth)

Chair: Gokul Madhavan, Preceptor in Sanskrit, Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University

Can you imagine a cross-dressing God? Hindus can, and have, for over a thousand years. Did this express a universal social reality or was this a highly refined metaphor for a few remains a matter of speculation and fierce debate. But no one can deny that in Hindu holy books and temple imagery when God descends on earth to be the ‘complete man’, it involves incorporating the feminine. Such queer ideas extend themselves to Buddhist and Jain stories too, making it not just a Hindu idea but generally an Indic idea. Through shifts in gender, the fluid nature of the world was shared by the sages to help people expand (brah) their mind (mana). Come experience the stories and ideas they shared through art through Devdutt Pattanaik’s brilliant and unique sketches!

A reception will follow this seminar in the CGIS Knafel Concourse 

An exhibit of the same name will be on view February 2 – March 23, 2016 at the CGIS Knafel Concourse, 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA 02138

Cosponsored with the Arts Connect International, Asia Center, Carr Center, India GSD, LAMBDA at Harvard Law, Harvard India Student Group, South Asia Institute, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. 

Join the Facebook event.

START
Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 04:00pm

END
Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS Knafel, K262
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA 02138

Thu, February 11, 2016 from 12:30pm - 01:30pm  /  Harvard School of Public Health, Building 1, Rm. 1208

Is decentralization good for development? Perspectives from academics & policy makers

Cosponsored Event

Jean-Paul Faguet, Professor of the Political Economy of Development

Cosponsored with the Department of Global Health & Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Professor Faguet will also be speaking at the Harvard Kennedy School of Tuesday, February 12, 11:45 am – 1:00 pm in an event sponsored by the Center for International Development. This event will take place in Perkins Room,  4th Floor, Rubenstein Building, HKS.

START
Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 12:30pm

END
Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 01:30pm

VENUE
677 Huntington Avenue, in Building 1, 12th floor, room 1208

ADDRESS
677 Huntington Avenue, in Building 1, 12th floor, room 1208

Thu, February 11, 2016 at 04:30pm  /  CGIS South Concourse

Opening reception: Altered State: Painting in Myanmar in a Time of Transition

Cosponsored Event

‘Altered State: Painting Myanmar in a time of transition,’ an exhibit of paintings will be on display Thursday, February 4 – Monday, February 22, 2016 in the Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA

Seminar on February 19: Freedom and Fear in Myanmar with Ian Holliday,Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), The University of Hong Kong

Cosponsored with the Asia Center

START
Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 04:30pm

END
Thu, Feb 11, 2016

VENUE
CGIS South Concourse
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Thu, February 18, 2016 from 02:00pm - 04:00pm  /  Room 124, Gund Hall

The Scope of Spatial Data and Technology for Building Resilience of Vulnerable Groups: A Case of 2015 Nepal Earthquake and Informal Settlements in Kathmandu

Cosponsored Event

Informal settlements are the common features of urban growth in most developing countries and are typically the product of an urgent need for shelter by the urban poor. Rapid urbanization, inefficient land administration and inadequate capability to cope with the housing needs of people in urban areas have contributed to the development of informal settlements or slums. The problem related to informal settlements is a very serious urban issue for developing countries. Informal settlers are more exposed and vulnerable to natural hazards that the general population and they are more likely to be affected and displaced by disasters. They tends to receive less housing assistance in their aftermath and are one of the vulnerable groups after disasters as they do not have legal land ownership documents and they are invisible on the records of city authorities. The humanitarian response and the reconstruction program led by central government or concerned authority tends to overlook informal settlers. The spatial data and technology can play a significant role for building resilience of vulnerable urban groups such as informal settlers. This presentation explores the role of spatial data infrastructure (SDI) and technology for disaster risk reduction and community resilience. A case of Nepal Earthquake 2015 has been taken as a case study.

Dev Raj Paudyal is a Lecturer in the School of Civil Engineering and Surveying, University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Australia. He has a M. Sc. Degree in Geoinformation Management (GIM2) from ITC, the Netherlands and a Doctor of Philosophy from University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Australia. He has more than 15 years of professional experience and approximately 40 research publications. Dev is currently the individual member representative and director at Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDIA) Board, Past President of International Geospatial Society (IGA), Co-chair of International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) Technical Commission WGIV/4, member of Mixed Methods International Research Association and registered Graduate Surveyor at Surveyors Board of Queensland (SBQ), Australia. Dev’s research interests lie in the areas of cadastral, land and geographic information systems, land administration, spatial data infrastructures, disaster management, urban planning including informal settlements, building resilience of vulnerable groups after disaster and natural resource management.

Cosponsored with the Harvard Graduate School of Design MDes Risk and Resilience Lecture

START
Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 02:00pm

END
Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 04:00pm

VENUE
48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

ADDRESS
48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

News


Studying the Kumbh Mela from many perspectives

On Jan. 18, the SAI launched the book and exhibition Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity in Mumbai at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in partnership with the Asia Society India Centre and the Harvard Club of Mumbai.